Our Fleet Test Drive Review: Mazda 3 - 13th Report
16 April 2010
Author: Hugh Hunston
|Category:|| Lower medium|
|P11D price:|| £18,260|
|Key rival:|| Ford Focus|
Motorsport geeks excepted, not an awful lot of people know that Mazda is the only Japanese manufacturer to win the Le Mans 24-hour endurance classic, a feat it achieved in 1991.But while the MX-5 and the RX rotary-engined series have functioned as parallel sporting imprint within the brand, Mazda's mainstream products, particularly the 323 and previous 3, have not set the heather alight in terms of driving dynamics.But our 3 Sport demonstrates that the engineers who developed the car's chassis understood that getting from A to B and along windy roads to Z could and should be a rewarding experience behind the wheel in a relatively conventional lower medium hatchback.
This was underlined recently when a couple of trips involved leaving later than planned and, ultimately, arriving earlier than scheduled, legally and with nerves intact. Yes the 3 has a flexible and muscular 150PS diesel with well-matched six-speed manual gearbox, but they would be wasted without roadholding, feedback and composure that combine the sharpness of a Focus with the refinement of a Golf.
|Mazda 3 2.2d 150PS Sport 5-door manual|
|Claimed combined |
|Our average consumption||45.0mpg|
|Model price range||£13,500 -£21,500|
|CO2 (tax) ||144g/km/19%|
|BIK 20/40% per month||£58/£116|
|Boot space (min/max)||300/1360 litres|
|Why we’re running it||Can it step up to its |
class mark like the 6?
|Positive||Stops as well as it goes|
|Negative||Badly placed handbrake|
FOLLOW BUSINESSCAR ON TWITTER